The rebel group in Ethiopia’s Tigray region says that 150 people may have died of starvation as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the region.
The Ethiopian government has not reacted to the allegation. But it had previously denied accusations by the UN that it was blocking aid.
The TPLF’s agriculture chief Atinkut Mezgebo said people and livestock were dying from lack of food and medicines “and the crisis might be bigger than what we know”.
He said that people were dying ‘’in front of our eyes because of starvation’’ and that women and children were most affected by the food shortage.
It is almost impossible to independently verify the allegations as phone lines and the internet remain cut off in Tigray.
But relief agencies have long been warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis with disastrous consequences.
In a statement released on Monday, Tigrayan forces said that some of the deaths occurred in camps hosting people displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The humanitarian situation in the region remains dire.
According to the UN, at least 100 trucks of food and non-food items must enter the region every day to meet the humanitarian needs. But less than 500 trucks have arrived since mid-July.
The number of people needing emergency assistance exceeds five million and 400,000 face famine-like conditions.
With active fighting in bordering Afar and Amhara regions between Tigrayan forces and the army and its allied forces, it’s feared that the number could get even higher.